Answers from Our Experts (1)
There’s much to love about Hotel Bel-Air. Here’s what we think are some of the best things about the storied property.
1. The history. The hotel, which first opened in 1946, has hosted just about every star, including Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe. It’s still a hub for Hollywood bigwigs and you’re bound to see someone famous somewhere on the grounds. Closed in September 2009 for a two-year renovation, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel still retains a sense of glamour and romance that’s not easily found these days.
2. The landscaping. The enchanting grounds truly make the hotel special. The landscaping reportedly includes 200 species of plants and flowers, and of course, there’s the hotel’s lovely Swan Lake. You can actually hear the hummingbirds sing in the canyons.
3. The spa. Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie Spa is a lovely retreat with top-notch treatments. We recommend one of the transformative facials and/or a stress-busting massage.
4. The restaurant and bar. Wolfgang Puck serves modern California cuisine with Mediterranean influences at his eponymous restaurant. We love the very Hollywood-esque semi-private booths in the back and can only imagine what kinds of deals have been struck at these tables. The glamorous lounge is a delightful mix of Bel Air locals and hotel guests. The sumptuous space is filled with antique mirrors, modern artwork, Art Deco light fixtures and a woven leather bar. The seasonal cocktails are excellent and there’s live piano music most nights (except weekends — apparently things were getting too loud for the locals).
5. The indoor/outdoor California living. We love how indoor areas easily flow into outdoor spaces throughout the Los Angeles hotel, creating a unique sense of California living. It seems as though there’s a thoughtfully placed bench at every turn inviting you to sit amid the roses and gardenias.